The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Paramount - 2003
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White, Sarah Silverman, Miranda Cosgrove, Adam Pascal
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Music by: Craig Wedren
Written by: Mike White
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 28, 2012
Jack Black stars as a diehard rock guitarist-turned-substitute teacher who transforms a class of fifth graders into a high-voltage rock group. His lesson: to lead the kids on to victory in the local Battle of the Bands competition.
Let’s face it the premise for School of Rock doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. When you factor in Jack Black it could certainly raise the probability for inanity especially for those that quickly tire of his shtick. I tend to like him but find that can be dependent on just how far left of center he goes. I don’t recall what drew me to School of Rock originally perhaps my kids wanted to see it at the time. Regardless I picked it up when it originally came to DVD and haven’t looked back.
Not at all what I expected this a fun, spirited and heartwarmingly zany fish out of water comedy about a diehard rock-n-roll fan/musician who seizes an opportunity strictly for some quick cash only to get much more than he bargained for and then some from a group of kids with heart, soul and untapped musical potential. Jack Black’s affably rich and high energy performance is the backbone of what makes School of Rock so good but equally entertaining is combining that with his interaction with the wonderful young cast that portray the prep school class he initiates into the fold. Watching as Black’s “Dewy Finn” transforms from a callous, hung over, one way with little thought other than himself to a nurturing guide for his new flock is why School of Rock is one of those movies I never tire of. It’s also laugh out loud funny with a touching quality that works for both young and adult audiences, especially if you have an appreciation for classic rock.
I was surprised when it showed up for review on Blu-ray from Paramount (the release is a Best Buy Exclusive). It is a personal favorite that I am pleased to add to my high definition library.
The rating is for some rude humor and drug references.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
School of Rock comes to Blu-ray disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.
This is a high quality video encoding that looks excellent on Blu-ray. Colors are vivid with subtle tonal variation, clean rendering, and lifelike depiction. The range of colors isn’t extensive but those represented looked great. Skin tones are warm, with pinkish highlights that never appear unnatural. Images are well delineated and clear over the course of the presentation which gave the video’s 1.78:1 frame strong dimension. There are minor fluctuations in apparent resolution that are more than likely related to the original photography and don’t infringe upon fidelity. I had no trouble making out the thread patterns in clothing, or the texture on surfaces. Film grain is intact and consistent in appearance throughout. Well balanced black and white levels provide discerning levels of depth to bright and dark segments. This is a faithful and filmic presentation that has never seen this film looking better on home video.
The DTS-HD MA soundtrack readily delivers the goods in this fun and occasionally involving surround mix. Dialogue is distinctive, free of sibilance, and appropriately elevated within the front soundstage. The atmospherics and reach channel extension featuring the music/score, and the various elements contained within the recording all come across with crystal clarity and acoustic spacing that create a believable and occasionally enveloping sound field. Dynamics are punchy and bass has appropriate weight that adds solidity to the musical set pieces. This presentation won’t bring down the house but it shines nicely on Blu-ray.
- Audio commentary by Jack Black and director Richard Linklater
- Kids commentary
- Lessons learned School of Rock – 24 minute featurette
- Jack Black’s pitch to Led Zepplin – 3 minute video (featuring Black’s pleading request to the band)
- School of Rock music video – 3 minutes
- Kid’s video diary: Toronto film festival – 8 minutes
- Dewey Finn’s History of Rock – Interactive chalkboard
- MTV’s diary of Jack Black – 16 minutes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer -
School of Rock is a fun, spirited and heartwarmingly zany fish out of water comedy that strikes a resonating chord thanks to a terrific performance by star Jack Black and a wonderful ensemble of young talent that portray his students/band mates. It makes its high definition debut from Paramount Home Entertainment in this Best Buy Exclusive release that features excellent audio/video quality and previously released supplements that make for a fan friendly offering. If you haven’t seen School of Rock I highly recommend you give it a spin on Blu-ray.
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